NOELVILLE – The latest 125-win team in the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League is the Cochrane Crunch as they reached that mark by holding off a determined comeback by the French River Rapids Sunday before prevailing 5-4 in double overtime Sunday at Noelville Arena.
A night after the league-leading Powassan Voodoos won their 125th NOJHL contest, Cochrane matched that victory total thanks to T.J. Delaney’s game-winner 3:24 into the second extra session.
The lone tally of the first period in this one was supplied by Cochrane’s Laramie Kostelansky, who picked up his fourth since joining his new squad one month ago.
Austin Stauffer’s team-best 23rd of the season upped the visitors lead 4:44 into the second stanza before teammate Austin Caza made it 3-0 a few shifts later.
Coming back, French River got one before the frame was complete thanks to a Christian Gaudreau man advantage effort at 16:21 as he recorded his 11th tally of the campaign.
The Rapids then moved to within one two and a half minutes into the third as Donny Schultz picked up his fifth of campaign to move the home team to within one.
French River kept coming and tied things up with 8:10 to go on an Austin Petrie effort.
However Cochrane countered just 31 seconds later as Noah Bennett’s initial NOJHL marker put the visitors back in front.
Undeterred, the Rapids would tie it once more when Alex Paul struck shorthanded at 13:29 to knot the affair at 4-4.
Moving to extra time, the first OT was scoreless, but in the second one, Delaney won it for the Crunch with the two teams playing three skaters aside.
Levi Siau had two assists for French River in setback giving him a point in his last seven league outings and 12 of his past 13.
Taylor Unruh made 43 saves to pick-up the win for Cochrane.
Josh Barrett faced 41 shots helping the Rapids earn a point in the setback.
With the result, Cochrane improves to 18-9-2-0 on the season while French River falls to 9-18-3-0.
Photos courtesy of Dal Photography